After having left Wednesday's practice, it was uncertain whether OLB James Harrison and RB Baron Batch had injuries that would keep them out longer than just one day.
Neither of them practiced Thursday, casting doubt on their availability - or at least the amount of plays in which they'd participate - for the Steelers' season-opener Sunday at Denver.
OLB Jason Worilds practiced both Wednesday and Thursday, strongly hinting that he'll be available Sunday. It's more likely, however, OLB Chris Carter would start in Harrison's place if he is unable to play.
Carter would get the bulk of the snaps if Harrison is limited as well, considering this is essentially his first full week of practice in 2012. Having a full compliment of outside linebackers has been an issue for the Steelers since Week 4 of the 2011 season, when Harrison went down with a broken eye socket. OLB LaMarr Woodley pulled a hamstring in Week 8, and the Steelers rotated Worilds and Carter, along with ILB Lawrence Timmons, into the outside linebacker positions in the absence of their regular starters.
Another day out for Batch may not be as much of a concern, as RB Rashard Mendenhall participated in a full practice for the second straight day. All reports indicated Mendenhall would not be available for a few weeks into the regular season, but the fact he's participating fully in practice leading up to the game suggests maybe those reports were exaggerated.
If Mendenhall is activated for the game, and so is Isaac Redman - who also participated fully in practice - Batch likely wouldn't dress for the game anyway. He is currently behind Mendenhall, Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Chris Rainey on the depth chart.